Monday, April 16, 2007
Here is Ram Dass setting up the keyboard before the concert. He does such a nice job playing the keyboard... but his real passion and gift is the clarinet. In last night's concert the keyboard had a blip of some sort (that is one of my more technical terms) and it just blopped out (another technical term). Each time he would strike a note on the keyboard it played out into the speakers with about a half second delay. He managed to play a few pieces with this delay going... now that is talent. But after awhile it was clear that it wasn't worth it... so we played the rest of the concert without the keyboard. The good news is that we heard some more clarinet and he did a beautiful job.
Here is Manish tuning his tabla before the concert. Manish really makes sure that his tabla is always in tune. I am really beginning to appreciate it. When the tabla is in tune it sings with you... it is so beautiful. I hadn't really payed that much attention to tuning before... I admit it. But Manish told us a fun story. The first time that Ravi Shankar came to the west and did a concert he started off the concert with tuning his sitar. As is quite normal in an Indian classical music concert Ravi Shankar came out on stage and sat down to tune his sitar. It took him 45 minutes. When he finished the audience gave him a standing ovation! He said very humbly to the audience, "If you like my tuning, you will probably like the actual music that I will be playing tonight."
Here is GuruGanesha and a young man named Ravinder taking the poles out of our banner which sits behind us on stage.
Here is Ram Dass and Manish taking a moment for a samurai fight with the poles.
Here is Krishan wrapping the cables. He has a special technique for wrapping the cables that actually preserves their life for alot longer then if you were to use say "my technique". He tried to show me once... but I haven't been able to retain that particular technique. Krishan is seen here wrapping cables... but he is actually in charge of both set up and break down. I wish that I had one hundred photos to show you how hard he works. I feel very blessed to have him on tour, along with the the whole crew. They work hard, but they are incredibly positive.
Here is GuruGanesha, Manish, Ravinder and Ram Dass folding the banner. There is also a special technique here as well. You have to fold it just right so that it can continue to look good concert after concert. We are actually due for a new one soon. I noticed a little tear the other night.
Here is Nirbhe Kaur and Sanela who cooked us a great meal for after the concert, and were there helping to clean up and haul things out to the van.
Here is Manish carrying microphone stands.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Here I am with Sat Kirn Kaur. She lives here in Brooklyn New York with her husband Siri Vishnu Singh. She has made a beautiful cd that I listen to every morning. It is called Mangala Charan. It is the introduction to one of the most beautiful and epic poems called Jaap Sahib by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs... Guru Gobind Singh. Within the up tempo and fun music of Sat Kirn's cd (produced by Thomas Barquee) Yogi Bhajan's voice is interwoven masterfully... as he talks about the Mangala Charan and what it can do for you. When I'm on the road I do a yoga set for the immune system which is very difficult to motivate myself to do... but this cd that she made just does it for me. If you would like to find out more about Sat Kirn see: www.satkirn.com, or check out www.spiritvoyage.com.
In the light and Grace of Guru Ram Das
We travel from city to city
Walking in the footsteps
Of our great teacher the Siri Singh Sahib.
Sometimes our feet slip out of his big shoes,
But always God is there to catch us,
Keeping us on the mission
Of spreading peace
Through the Guru's hymns.
May love and light and peace be yours today, and may God's Name be on your lips.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Here are some photos of our tour.... I hope you enjoy them.
We were recently in the Bahamas for an Interfaith music festival at the Sivananda Yoga ashram in Nassau. It was a great experience.
Here is from left to right: Manish Vyas, a local Bahamian man whom GuruGanesha befriended, GuruGanesha, and Sopurkh.
My husband and I enjoying a good laugh (probably one of GuruGanesha's jokes) ... with a picture of Swami Vishnu Devananda in the background. Swami Vishnu Devananda was the founder of the ashram that hosted the interfaith festival. He was known as the "flying swami" as he flew many peace missions with his own small airplane. One such mission was a flight over the Berlin Wall before it came down. He did this to demonstrate that there are no walls between any countries... that we are unified by the One Spirit within all. Apparantly when he landed he taught a yoga class to the East German soldiers who met him, was given lunch and treated very respectfully. The mission was widely covered by world wide media and brought attention to the situation at hand, and the importance of working for peace. Many of his missions were at risk to his own life. I enjoyed hearing the stories about his life from his disciples who are now running the ashram, and felt a deep sense of gratitude for his dedication to bringing yoga to the west and to war torn nations. He passed away in 1997, but has left a legacy with the many teaching centers around the globe.
This is a local choir in Nassau Bahamas, called the "End of Time" Choir. They were so beautiful and their songs were really soul stirring. They performed in the interfaith music festival the evening before us. I really overjoyed hearing such a good Gospel Choir. The thing that really touched me was that the pastor of the church was related to about 70% of the choir members... his children and grandchildren all took to singing and spreading the light through their singing. One thing the pastor said which I really took to heart was... "If you can't spread love, light and peace in your own family, how can you expect to spread it anywhere else?"
Here is Manish Vyas, who has recently joined us. Here we are at a concert in Washington DC, which was sponsored by Spirit Voyage Music. Manish is an incredibly talented tabla player and vocalist. We are really enjoying his presence with the tour. For more information about him, you can visit his website at: Manishvyas.com
He came all the way from India to tour with us... the food and the weather is so different then what he is used to. Although he toured in the US for a number of years, the past couple of years he has been living with his teacher in Mysore and practising meditation in an ashram. My favorite quote from him thus far is as follows. We had to leave quite early one morning and didn't have time to find a place to eat breakfast. We were all in the van quite hungry. I found some tofu at the bottom of our food bag and gave some to everyone. When I gave the slightly pale and rubbery looking tofu to Manish he closed his eyes momentarily before taking the tofu for breakfast and said, "Let Thy Will Be Done."
Here is Ram Dass, who has also joined us. He is playing piano here which he does very well... but just waint until you hear him on clarinet! He is so fluid and really carries the spirit of joy into his playing.
Here's all of us!
Until we come to your city,